IFR Oddities

When I earned my Instrument rating, it was common to include the phrase “No SIDs/No STARs” in the Remarks when filing an IFR flight plan. Partly we were being cheap. In those days you had to buy stacks of paper charts and books even for a single IFR flight, and the SIDs (Standard Instrument Departures) Read More

Barely VMC

Q: What’s the deadliest category of general aviation accidents? A: Attempted visual flight into Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC). According to AOPA’s Air Safety Institute, when a “VFR into IMC” crash occurs, it is almost always fatal. Q: Who’s at risk of a Visual Flight Rules (VFR) flight into IMC? A: Experienced, often high-time pilots, in Read More

The Compliance Spectrum

The Compliance Spectrum

It’s a phrase found frequently in NTSB reports: “The pilot’s failure to….” An (admittedly old) NTSB survey of accidents from 1978 through 1990 revealed that procedural noncompliance was a factor in 78 percent of all crashes. It’s one thing to say the pilot failed to comply with a procedure. It’s another thing entirely to understand Read More

Touchdown Zone

Touchdown Zone

Three reports from the NTSB: Surveillance video revealed the Cessna Citation 550 touched down about 1,700 feet past the runway threshold of the 5,000-foot-long runway and that the thrust reversers were not deployed during the recorded portion of the landing roll. The airplane’s tires left over 1,300 feet of skid marks before it overran the Read More

Let’s Talk Fuel: Strategy and Tactics

Let’s Talk Fuel: Strategy and Tactics

From recent NTSB preliminary reports: A Piper PA46-310P was substantially damaged during a forced landing while on approach to Poughkeepsie, New York. The pilot and two passengers were seriously injured, and one passenger sustained minor injuries. The airplane came to rest upright among trees and brush. The was no evidence of fuel, no fuel spillage, and Read More